CAMPUS COUP FOR MALEMA
EFF election win at universities shows red tide is coming in for 2019 elections
SOUTH African students are going red. That’s if the elections held at universities are anything to go by. The EFF Student Command (EFFSC) won elections in three KwaZuluNatal tertiary institutions.
The red berets defeated the ANC-aligned SA Students Congress (Sasco) at the Durban University of Technology, University of Zululand (UniZulu) and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
By yesterday, votes were still being counted at the University of KwaZuluNatal. Reacting to the victories, an elated EFF treasurer-general Leigh Mathys said the party would continue on their winning streak.
Universities are holding students elections across the country.
EFFSC president Peter Keetse said their win was a warning shot for what would happen in next year’s general elections. Keetse said the youth were the influencers of the future and “therefore this is an indication of what is to follow in the future”.
“I always tell our leader Julius Malema to prepare for his inauguration ceremony for 2019 because the EFF will win the 2019 elections.”
In Gauteng, the party has also set its sights on more institutions it wants to paint red.
“The EFF is leading in most of the universities by 100%. We are leading at the Vaal University of Technology, Wits University, Unisa and Sefako Makgatho. We are confident that we will take these universities,” said Keetse.
The youth leader attributed the landslide win to the need for change among university communities. “It is at the time where young people are starting to see the need to be involved in politics because before the formation of the EFF and its student command we had young people who were really not interested in politics, particularly voting.”
Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said the EFFSC had taken an “enormous leap” by the winning votes in KZN universities. Mnguni added that it was difficult to woo voters in the province, who were predominantly ANC and IFP supporters. He cited the weak leadership of Sasco as a factor.
“This shows you that where the ANC is weak, there will always be parties ready to fill the vacuum. Sasco is weak and the EFF is already filling the vacuum.”
Another analyst Imraan Buccus said the EFF’s populist rhetoric was a seductive and popular one. However, he said it should be noted that voting turnout during SRC elections was not always great.
“But there is no doubt that the EFF has huge appeal in a context where the majority of young people live on the margins of society.”
University of Johannesburg spokesperson Herman Esterhuizen wouldn’t speculate on the EFF’s electoral fortunes at the institution, saying they would await the actual outcome.
“It’s going to be difficult because we’re going into elections on the 10th of next month. We’ve got an interim-SRC comprising various bodies. Various branches and political affiliations are campaigning at this stage so we will have to wait to see the outcome.”
However, Keetse attributed the landslide victories in KZN to the need for change among university communities.
“…young people are starting to see the need to be involved in politics because, before the EFF and its student command, we had young people who were really not interested in politics, particularly voting.”
Despite both the District Six and Bellville Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) campuses still needing to vote, EFFSC claimed victory following voting at the Mowbray Campus on Thursday and Friday.
EFFSC District Six campus chairperson Songeze Phlindlela said the EFF had taken all nine positions despite CPUT spokesperson Lauren Kansley saying that all campuses needed to vote before any counting would commence.
“We agreed that we would count the votes as soon as the voting closed, and there were members of both Sasco and the Pan Africanist Students Movement of Azania there with the EFF, and we have won.
“They are no longer going to be in control because they have been rigging these things and we were not going to accept that,” said Phlindlela.
The University of Cape Town also held its SRC elections this week and was expected to release the provisional results tomorrow, with the final results to follow on Wednesday.
The University of the Western Cape was expected to hold its SRC elections on October 9 and 10.
| Julius Malema Thobile Mathonsi